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HYBE’s Min Hee-jin slammed by K-pop stans for questionable ‘creative direction’

Trigger Warning: This article includes mentions of pedophilia that some readers might find disturbing.

HYBE/ADOR’s Creative Director and CEO Min Hee-jin is currently under fire for apparently glamorizing pedophilia and her sexualization of minors even in the past. It is a well-known fact that Min Hee-jin was the former Creative Director for SM Entertainment, where she spearheaded the concepts of Girls’ Generation, SHINEe, f(x), EXO, Red Velvet, and NCT until 2018.

By 2019, Min Hee-jin began working under HYBE Corporation as its Chief Brand Officer and was appointed as CEO for its subsidiary label ADOR in 2021. She is also the mind behind the creative direction and development of HYBE and ADOR’s first ever girl group, NewJeans, who as of writing, has amassed a large following after the release of their songs and concept.

In an interview about NewJeans, Min Hee-jin drew concern from netizens after her comments about the girl group’s youngest member (aged 13) had pedophilic undertones and hinted in their sexualization. This led to a forum where Korean netizens have been discussing whether or not Min Hee-jin was glamorizing pedophilia.

After some digging, some of Min Hee-jin’s “mood boards”, Instagram, and past actions have come to light that made people feel a little more unsettled, especially with her past work with SHINEe’s Taemin, former f(x) Krystal, Red Velvet’s Yeri, and NCT’s Jisung when they were all still minors.

When she was still working in SM Entertainment, Min Hee-jin had given SM Artists like SHINEe’s Taemin, Krystal, Red Velvet’s Yeri, and NCT’s Jisung some questionable concepts. In their “Sherlock” era, Taemin was told to not work out so he could retain his “boyish image.” f(x)’s “Pink Tape” and Red Velvet’s “Red Flavor” eras were given the ‘Lolita’ concept.

Minors in the K-Pop industry have always been a topic that never seems to see an end since Korean entertainment agencies still debut them regardless of the backlash. And with NewJeans being handled by someone like Min Hee-jin who is most likely a pedophile, these minors might be taken advantage of or may not even know what these things mean yet.

Pedophilia in the first place isn’t even something that should be fantasized about or glamorized. How is having sexual thoughts toward children something attractive? How is telling children to be as natural as they are and then film them in an inappropriate manner okay?

That is not okay. It will never be okay. These minors need to be protected from those kinds of people. Hopefully, the K-Pop industry will become better in this aspect. Heck, maybe they could even wait for these children to turn 18 or older before they debut into the industry.


Other POP! stories you might like:

Child grooming isn’t something we should be ‘getting used to’

The ‘Usapang Diskarte’ page is a reminder that the internet has its dark side

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